It’s always in these situations that I envy healthy people. If I didn’t have chronic illnesses, I’d only have to look for external causes.
Instead, I was immediately faced with six possibilities (and plenty more I didn’t think of at the time):
- I had forgotten to take my antidepressants
- My fatigue was rearing up with a vengeance
- I had low blood sugar
- I was dehydrated
- I was septic again from a UTI that’d somehow gone unnoticed
- I was pregnant
A quick check of the calendar ruled out that last one. But that still left quite a few issues, each with its own treatment.
Treatments #1 & 2
I was 99% certain that I took my pills that morning, but just to be safe, I took some (more). It wasn’t going to throw my system out of whack to accidentally double up.
A secondary step should’ve been food — the pills are right by the fridge, after all. But I wasn’t particularly hungry, so I went to the next treatment: lying down.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t actually sleepy (or feeling particularly tired), so I got up after about half an hour of lying around being bored.
Happily, the symptoms were gone — for about two hours.
I was fighting mild panic about being septic again. (Not only because of the worry about getting that sick, but also because I can’t afford to miss work. Also, being hospitalized is really boring.) I stayed calm by reminding myself that I’ve never had a completely asymptomatic UTI. Well, mostly calm.
But what was I going to do? I sure as hell wasn’t going to the ER and waiting hours just to get told I was overreacting — and to pay $400 for the privilege.
Though I did tell Tim that if I still felt bad on Wednesday we’d check out those home UTI tests as a good interim measure.
Treatments 3 &4
I made sure to eat something and, in case it was dehydration, diligently drink water. Again, the symptoms came back, this time around three hours later.
At that point, it was almost certainly a case of dehydration, so I just focused on drinking water. But around 9 p.m. the nausea came back full force. Which presented a seventh option: I was so busy drinking water to overcome dehydration that I’d given myself a minor version of water toxicity. I(‘ve done it before.)
Or back to that old chestnut of fatigue.
Whatever the cause, an early bedtime was the only real cure. Either the rest would help the fatigue or I’d at least be unconscious while my body struggled to absorb the excess water.
I did feel better on Wednesday. But it’s not particularly comforting when you still don’t know what made you feel awful in the first place.
This is one of the many reasons I envy healthy people. By and large, there’s only one or two real possibilities when they suddenly feel awful. Either they’ve stressed their bodies out with work or exercise, or they’re fighting some illness.
They don’t have to wonder which one of their pre-existing conditions is being particularly nasty that day. They don’t have to debate whether it’s some new symptom of an illness they already have or some actual external force.
They only grasp the scope of horrible possibilities via WebMD, where they’re told that they probably have a cold or the plague.
I’m jealous of that. Meanly, graspingly jealous. Teeth grittingly, shaking-fist-at-the-sky envious. Because healthy people get to readily assume that there’s some new outside influence causing their discomfort. And they’re usually right.
Me? An external cause will never be higher than fourth on my “Oh what now?” list. Instead, I assume it’s my depression, fatigue or hypoglycemia at play. And I’m usually right.
What did we learn today?
Nothing. We learned nothing. We didn’t even learn exactly what caused all that discomfort.
So while normally I’d end this rambling tale with some valuable insight or life lesson… Well, I just don’t have one. Except that sometimes being chronically ill don’t just suck, but instead extra sucks. And I guess I wanted to pout across the Internet.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to drink some water. But not too much. Grumble grumble.
Anyone else had strange symptoms lately? Anyone else just beat down by their chronic condition(s)?